This is a guest post by full-time blogger and internet marketer, Justin Wright.
In my quest to become a full-time blogger, I have had many ups and downs along the way. I have tried things that worked and things that have failed miserably. Along the way, I have learned some valuable lessons.
Here are the 5 most valuable lessons I have learned from blogging:
1. The Journey Is Everything
Having a successful blog is something I always wanted to have, but early on I lacked the patience to wait around for it to happen. I had the common mindset of wanting it all now. I wanted to go to sleep one night and wake up with a popular blog the next morning. I wanted money to be rolling in while I slept. I wanted to have a following of a few thousand people and traffic stats beyond my wildest dreams.
Of course that would have been great, but what I did not realize at that time was that I would miss the most important part of all, the journey itself. Just like in life, the beginning and end are nowhere near as important as what we experience and accomplish in between.
The experience of starting a blog and watching yourself progress is something money cannot buy. It is amazing to see yourself become more knowledgeable and proficient as time moves on. You start to learn more and more and progress as a both a writer and a marketer. Just looking back at what my blog looked like 10 months ago compared to now gives me a great sense of accomplishment. My posts have been taken to a whole new level. They are longer, formatted better, and best of all, more useful and entertaining.
So never forget, that the journey of becoming a blogger is more important than the end product.
2. Hard Work Does Pay Off
When it comes to blogging, time is something you need a lot of. Starting a new blog takes a lot of time, commitment, and persistence. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that you are spending all your time and effort working on something that might not take off for 6 months to a year down the road.
Before starting my current blog, I had previously started more than 10 different blogs that never took off. Why? Because I abandoned them way before they ever made any progress. However, now that I have committed myself to a blog and worked hard on a day to day basis, I have seen some great results.
These results have reassured me that that hard work really does pay off, you just have to stick with it long enough to see results.
3. Relationships Are Everything
When I started on my blogging journey, the last thing on my mind was making friends and creating relationships with other bloggers. It’s not that I didn’t want to make friends, it just wasn’t something I had thought of when starting out. I failed to realize early on that besides making money and sharing your voice through blogging, you can also network with people from around the world.
Almost a year later, my mindset has shifted to the point where making friends and networking is one of the most important aspects of my blog. Instead of spending every second working on my own blog, I make sure to go out and leave feedback on other blogs. Not only does it help fellow bloggers out by increasing their comments, it keeps them motivated to keep writing. It helps you meet new people and create a network of friends that all share a similar hobby.
These friends and contacts can help you when you need blog advice, marketing, or a place to stay while traveling (it’s been done).
4. Doing What You Love Isn’t Work
Over the last 10 months, I have spent way more time on my blog than I would have expected. It has basically become a full-time job since I spend my time working on the design, writing content, and promoting it. However, this type of work feels different to me than any past job I have ever had. Why? Because doing what you love isn’t work. It’s a passion. It’s a hobby you enjoy doing regardless of the time or effort it takes. No wonder so many people tell you to do something you love growing up. The reason so many people are disappointed with their jobs is because it isn’t their ideal career.
This important lesson has taught me that regardless of how much money I can make blogging, it is what I am passionate about and enjoy doing. As long as I can make the bare minimum to survive, I will be happy with this choice.
5. Provide First, Reap The Rewards Later
I’ll admit that when I first started blogging two years ago, my main focus was making money as fast as possible. That’s it. I was looking for a easy formula to make money without having a job. The problem with that logic was the fact that I was trying to reap the rewards before providing a service. The lesson I learned from that mistake is that blogging is like any other business. You need to provide value before you can expect to make any money.
When it comes to adding value to your blog, providing valuable content to your readers on a consistent basis is key. Provide useful information that will make them want to come back time and time again. Offer free advice and reports instead of trying to sell them things early on. Create a relationship with your readers and respond to them when they send you emails or leave comments.
By focusing on providing value first, you will no doubt be rewarded for your time and efforts. It takes time, but pays off in the end.
Have you learned any valuable lessons from blogging? What are they?